Each Spring between the months of April and May, one Saturday closest to the first-quarter Moon is set aside for astronomy clubs, astronomy enthusiasts, observatories, libraries, science centers, schools, museums, planetariums, telescope manufacturers and many other astronomy lovers to unite together and bring the wonders of astronomy and space science to the general public. Astronomy Day 2011 took place on May 7th, and Celestron Representatives once again found themselves heading out on the road in the company van full of products to exhibit. But this time, the destination wasn't too far away - actually right up the freeway!
Celestron teamed up with Griffith Observatory, The Los Angeles Astronomical Society and the Los Angeles Natural History Museum to bring astronomy to all the guests of the observatory. Throughout the day, guests from around the world made their way up to the observatory grounds to check out all the astronomy exhibits, watch planetarium shows, observe the Sun and Moon and take a breathtaking view of the City of Angels from this historic Los Angeles landmark. Low clouds and haze accompanied the sky throughout much of the day but became transparent enough to allow for a few hours of daytime celestial observing. It was quite a challenge to sight the waxing crescent Moon through all the haze, but those who did could be heard saying "I see the Moon, I see the Moon!" However, as dusk approached, the marine layer moved in like a huge blanket of clouds and settled over the basin which compromised the evening star party. Although everyone was quite disappointed that there would be no viewing of the Moon or Saturn, many guests opted to stay and talk astronomy with all the volunteers. The LAAS brought along trivial games which winners could take home astronomy magazine prizes. The Los Angeles County Natural History Museum brought along their Sky Mobile - a huge truck which featured a self-supporting mobile classroom on wheels, complete with a full-scale Mars research station! Guests were allowed to enter into an airlock and explore a simulated Martian surface!! How fun! Although we lost much of Astronomy Day to the clouds, bad weather couldn't take away the spirit of Astronomy Day. As one volunteer noted, "Cloudy weather just comes with the territory - sometimes it's clear and sometimes it's not, but guests here today still left with a better understanding of the universe than when they first arrived." We couldn't agree more. Hope everyone else also had a successful event by "Bringing Astronomy to the People!"
Click on the image in this blog recap to be redirected to our Astronomy Day 2011 photo set on Flickr Photos.